Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
KODIAK: RIT Annual Workshop Comes to Refuge Visitor Center
Alaska Region, December 7, 2007
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After opening to the public November 17th 2007, the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center was proud to welcome its first workshop just a few weeks in to operation. On December 3rd through the 7th, 2007, US Fish and Wildlife Service Refuge Information Technicians (RITs) from across Alaska met for their annual workshop.  This year’s theme “Changing…Trends, Attitudes, and Climate” focused on the educational opportunities surrounding the research and information on a changing climate in Alaska and the world.  More than 25 participants gathered from all corners of Alaska and from points as far away as Kaktovik, on the Beaufort Sea.  The purpose of the annual RIT workshops are to enhance communications between the Service/Refuges and rural communities in Alaska.  “The presentations and training sessions, from some of the top authorities in these fields, serve as great catalysts for forming new education and information sharing opportunities” said Kevin Painter, RIT program coordinator.

Featured speakers and topics included:

  • Climate Change- Mary Walker, AK Conservation Solutions
  • Director Hall’s Climate Change teleconference
  • Russian-American history in coastal Alaska- Ani Thomas, Baranov Museum
  • Alutiiq Museum and culture- Sven Haakanson, Director of Alutiiq Museum of Kodiak
  • Contaminated Sites & Tribal Response- Charlene Stern, Yukon River Inter-tribal Watershed Council
  • Success of Tribal Wildlife Grants- Dorinda Kewan from the village of Port Lions
  • Cultural resource regulations and relations- Debbie Corbett, USFWS
  • Marine mammal updates and tagging- Dr. John Trent & Steve Tuttle, USFWS
  • Polar Bears in Alaska and beyond- Dr. Karyn Rode, USFWS Polar Bear researcher
  • Kodiak subsistence topics- Mitch Simeonoff, community leader from the village of Akhiok
  • Kodiak Island Subsistence Fisheries, Liz Williams, Anthropologist Office of Subsistence Management
  • Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges- David Raskin, Friends President and Sharon Baur, Friends Vice President
  • Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP) overview and opportunities for rural Alaskans- Mike Boylan, USFWS

The Kodiak Refuge Visitor Center enjoyed hosting this informative and educational workshop and is looking forward to welcoming the Alaska Region Outreach Team this spring and the joint meeting of the National Wildlife Refuge System Leadership Team and Refuge Supervisors for the Alaska Region this summer 2008. If you are interested in holding a workshop in Kodiak, please contact Visitor Center Manager, Tina Shaw, at 907-487-0282.

Contact Info: Kristen Gilbert, 907-786-3391, Kristen_Gilbert@fws.gov
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